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The Globe and Mail’s 2020 Canadian University Report profiles and compares more than 80 universities across the country to provide a snapshot of tuition and fees, student demographics, experience and program offerings to help prospective students choose the institution that’s best suited to their needs.

For incoming students, choosing a postsecondary institution can seem like a mammoth task. What are you really looking to get out of your time at university and what do you wish to study? Do you want to go to a bigger campus across the country, or to a smaller one in a quiet town close to home?

Whether you’re looking to prioritize the student experience, co-ops, volunteer experience and internships, potential for research, sports or if you’re just looking for the most affordable option, Canada has a lot to offer when it comes to universities.

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In the 2020 Canadian University Report, we investigated how universities are preparing their students to face the big world problems of today and tomorrow. We also used publicly available data to compare more than 80 universities on the basis of affordability, student experience and satisfaction.

As always, we focused on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which asks students to evaluate their experiences at their universities in detail.

METHODOLOGY

1) Tuition and fees: We reached out to each postsecondary institution listed to request the most recent costs of attending. For those institutions that did not respond, we used the most current information available on their websites. Our tuition calculations are for a full-time course load, as well as compulsory fees, such as health insurance, transit passes and student-union fees. Basic arts and science tuition fees were used, as opposed to specialized programs. Arts tuition fees were used when different from science.

Here, $$$ indicates a university’s tuition is at least $300 above average, average ($$) or at least $300 below the provincial or regional average ($).

2) Student experience: We looked at responses in the NSSE from the 2016 and 2017 academic years that spoke to overall student experience. Universities that participate in NSSE tend to do so in a three-year cycle, with many universities’ next cycle falling in 2020. Symbols indicate if student experiences were rated above average (+++), average (++) or below average (+). Some schools did not participate or reveal their scores.

The majority of NSSE results are from 2017, with the following exceptions: Vancouver Island University, 2018; University of the Fraser Valley, University of Northern British Columbia, Athabasca University, 2016; University of Regina, 2014. Lack of data indicates no NSSE results were submitted or the university does not participate in the survey. A national dataset was used.

RANKINGS

LEGEND

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What matters to you?

Every university specializes in something different, and it’s up to you to choose what matters most. Use the legend and icons below to help determine what university is the best fit for you.

Does this university:

  1. Have affordable tuition and fees?
  2. Offer a great educational experience, according to students?

British Columbia12
Capilano University$$++
Emily Carr University of Art + Design$NA
Kwantlen Polytechnic University$NA
Royal Roads University$$$NA
Simon Fraser University$$$++
Thompson Rivers University$$+++
University of British Columbia$$$++
University of Northern British Columbia$$++
University of the Fraser Valley$$+++
University of Victoria$$++
Vancouver Island University$+++

Alberta12
Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts)$$++
Athabasca University$$++
MacEwan University$$+++
Mount Royal University$$+++
University of Alberta$$$++
University of Calgary$$++
University of Lethbridge$$++

Saskatchewan12
University of Regina$$$++
University of Saskatchewan$$$++

Manitoba12
Brandon University$++
University of Manitoba$+
University of Winnipeg$++

Ontario12
Algoma University$++
Brock University$++
Carleton University$++
Lakehead University$$+
Laurentian University$$++
McMaster University$$$+++
Nipissing University$$++
OCAD University$$+
Ontario Tech University$$$NA
Queen's University$$+++
Ryerson University$++
Trent University$$$++
University of Guelph$$$+++
University of Ottawa$++
University of Toronto$$$++
University of Waterloo$$++
University of Windsor$$+
Western University$$++
Wilfrid Laurier University$$+++
York University$$++

Quebec12
Bishop's University $$NA
McGill University $$$++
Concordia University $$++
Universite de Montreal (French) $$++
Universite de Laval (French) $++

New Brunswick12
Mount Allison University$$$+++
St. Thomas University$$$+++
University of New Brunswick$$$++

Nova Scotia12
Acadia University$$+++
Cape Breton University$$NA
Dalhousie University$$++
Mount Saint Vincent University$++
NSCAD University$$$NA
Saint Mary's University$++
St. Francis Xavier University$$$+++
University of King's College$$NA

Prince Edward Island12
University of Prince Edward Island$$++

Newfoundland and Labrador12
Memorial University of Newfoundland$++

Note: French-speaking, private and faith-based universities haven’t been ranked. This is because not all of these universities submitted the requested data needed to generate a full ranking pool among one another.

British Columbia profiles

Capilano University

North Vancouver (main), Sechelt

Tuition and fees: $5,091.12

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Undergraduate students: 8,505

Undergraduate graduation rate: 48.89 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $12,000

Capilano University is based in North Vancouver. The school focuses on offering individual and personalized learning to students within small classes. In addition to its main Vancouver campus and its regional campus in Sechelt, this year Capilano opened a third campus in Lonsdale, North Vancouver, that offers select courses from all five of the university’s faculties.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Vancouver

Tuition and fees: $5,078.30

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Undergraduate students: 1,870

Undergraduate graduation rate: 72.8 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,582

Founded in 1925 and one of the province’s oldest universities, Emily Carr is a small university that gives students an opportunity to build tight-knit networks. It’s the only university in the province dedicated to visual art, media arts and design. Undergraduate students spend their first year in a foundation program to develop their core skills before choosing one of the 11 majors offered.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Surrey, Langley, Richmond, Cloverdale

Tuition and fees: $4,551

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Undergraduate students: 22,746

Undergraduate graduation rate: **information unavailable

Average debt at graduation: $10,678

As the province’s only polytechnic university, Kwantlen is a teaching-focused university that pairs traditional academics with the hands-on skills of apprenticeship training. KPU’s tuition is the lowest in the province and the university offers more than 120 programs with small class sizes capping at 35 students.

Royal Roads University

Victoria

Tuition and fees: $9,606

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Undergraduate students: 1,474

Undergraduate graduation rate: **information unavailable

Average debt at graduation: $14,791

Located in Hatley Park and designated as one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, Royal Roads University offers students a unique cohort model featuring group-based coursework. This blended learning model includes online courses and two-year on-campus intensive programs, which can be tailored to suit students’ personal or professional lives.

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, Surrey, Vancouver

Tuition and fees: $6,721

Undergraduate students: 29,904

Undergraduate graduation rate: 63 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,201

Simon Fraser is a research-focused university with urban campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey. As the province’s second-largest university, its vision is to become Canada’s leading “engaged university” by intersecting innovation, technology and research, and community outreach across its eight faculties.

Thompson Rivers University

Kamloops (main), Williams Lake

Tuition and fees: $5,285

Undergraduate students: 22,760

Undergraduate graduation rate: 40 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $14,604

Thompson Rivers University is an open-access institution set in the small town of Kamloops in interior B.C. It offers more than 100 programs, ranging from certificates, trades and apprenticeship programs to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. With more than 12 varsity athletic teams, nearly 100 student clubs and more than 200 lakes nearby, TRU boasts a high student satisfaction rate.

University of British Columbia

Vancouver (main), Kelowna (Okanagan Campus)

Tuition and fees: $6,442.27

Undergraduate students: 53,872

Undergraduate graduation rate: 74.4 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $18,832

With one of the highest graduation rates in the province and nearly 65,000 students, the University of British Columbia is the province’s largest university. UBC is home to 16 faculties, 18 schools and two colleges, and it is renowned for its commitment to research. It’s often highly ranked globally and currently sits at 37th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UBC offers a selection of more than 370 student clubs, and both campuses have numerous cultural sites and yearly events.

University of Northern British Columbia

Prince George (main), Fort St. John, Terrace, Gitwinksihlkw, Quesnel

Tuition and fees: $6,275.18

Undergraduate students: 3,273

Undergraduate graduation rate: 50 per cent, based on a six-year rate (2011 cohort)

Average debt at graduation: $18,851

Nestled in Northern B.C., the University of Northern British Columbia is a small university offering 961 courses in on-campus, regional and online formats. It’s a research-intensive university that focuses on the social, economic, environmental and cultural issues of the North. UNBC positions itself as Canada’s Green University, and it has made significant gains in the field of energy use and conservation.

University of the Fraser Valley

Abbotsford (main), Chilliwack, Mission, Hope

Tuition and fees: $5,399

Undergraduate students: 11,431

Undergraduate graduation rate: 53 per cent, based on a six-year rate (average across all degree programs)

Average debt at graduation: $11,460

Known as “The House of Transformation” in Halq’eméylem, the language of the local Sto:lo people, the University of the Fraser Valley offers 15 bachelor degrees and more than 100 programs ranging from agriculture and criminology to robotics and welding. Experiential hands-on learning is at the core of academics at UFV since classes are small (averaging 25 students) and undergraduate applied research opportunities are integrated.

University of Victoria

Victoria

Tuition and fees: $6,070

Undergraduate students: 18,554

Undergraduate graduation rate: 62 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $18,645

The University of Victoria is recognized for leadership in research, inspired teaching and community engagement. UVic’s broad range of programs is spread across 10 faculties and two divisions, with a vibrant campus community life. It has one of Canada’s largest university co-op programs, integrating academic studies with relevant paid work experience in more than 40 academic areas.

Vancouver Island University

Nanaimo (main), Duncan, Parksville-Qualicum, Powell River

Tuition and fees: $5,064.51

Undergraduate students: 7,510

Undergraduate graduation rate: 59.9 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $13,848

With more than 120 programs, Vancouver Island University offers a mix of academic and technical programs, undergraduate and graduate studies and a range of certificate, diploma and degree programs. VIU has a unique mandate to serve the island and coastal region by creating access to social and cultural initiatives that promote community vitality, lifelong learning and improved quality of life.

Prairies profiles

Alberta profiles

Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts)

Calgary

Tuition: $5,923.80

Undergraduate students: 1,150 **current year’s figures unavailable

Undergraduate graduation rate: 56.3 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: **information unavailable

On Treaty 7 territory of the Blackfoot people, Alberta University of the Arts has been the only dedicated art, craft and design institution in the Prairies since 1926. Its bachelor's degree programs range from photography and visual communications to glass, ceramics and sculpture. With small class sizes as an advantage, AUArts also focuses on enhancing critical thinking skills by giving students internship and practicum opportunities.

Athabasca University (online)

Athabasca (main), Calgary, Edmonton, Edmonton North

Tuition: $8,472.50 (out of province), $6,692.50 (Alberta residents)

Undergraduate students: 6,922

Undergraduate graduation rate: **information unavailable

Average debt at graduation: **information unavailable

Athabasca University is one of Canada’s only open admissions, distance and fully digital universities. AU offers more than 850 courses in more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, and because of its flexible structure, 73 per cent of students work while they study. AU has four campuses in the province and classes are available to students across the world.

Mount Royal University

Calgary

Tuition: $6,240

Undergraduate students: 13,608

Undergraduate graduation rate: 65.4 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $11,957

With 12 degree offerings, an average class size of 31 students and many opportunities for community service learning – where one can combine academics with community engagement – Mount Royal University is highly rated by its students. MRU’s campus is built to help students make connections through the 70-plus cubs, campus activities and amenities, all a stone’s throw away from downtown Calgary.

University of Alberta

Edmonton

Tuition: $6,943.86

Undergraduate students: 31,123

Undergraduate graduation rate: 79.2 per cent

Average debt at graduation: $15,059

The University of Alberta is frequently ranked among Canada’s Top 5 universities and Top 100 in the world, focusing on both teaching and research. It’s the largest university in the Prairies, with more than 300 undergraduate programs, 14 varsity athletic teams and more than 425 student clubs and associations.

MacEwan University

Edmonton

Tuition: $5,960.00

Undergraduate students: 18,925

Undergraduate graduation rate: **information unavailable

Average debt at graduation: $11,047

MacEwan is a lecture-focused university offering nine baccalaureate degrees, two applied degrees and many diploma and certificate programs. Class sizes are small, and faculty members who are involved in innovative research integrate this work into the learning goals.

University of Calgary

Calgary

Tuition: $6,613.78

Undergraduate students: 26,821

Undergraduate graduation rate: 73.5 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,043

Perched at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the University of Calgary is one of the province’s larger universities, offering more than 250 programs. Its foundational commitments are to teaching, research and community engagement, with a focus on producing globally minded citizens who drive entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation.

University of Lethbridge

Lethbridge (main), Calgary

Tuition: $6,198.81

Undergraduate students: 7,971

Undergraduate graduation rate: 71.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,430

Over the past five decades, the University of Lethbridge has evolved from a primarily undergraduate university to a comprehensive academic and research university. It offers more than 150 undergraduate programs, while keeping class sizes to an average of 34 students. ULethbridge provides arts and sciences co-op work experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Saskatchewan profiles

University of Regina

Regina (main), Saskatoon

Tuition: $6,944.80

Undergraduate students: 13,668

Undergraduate graduation rate: 60.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $16,819

Located on 239 acres in one of the largest urban parks in North America, U of R is home to 10 faculties, 25 academic departments and schools, 18 research centres and institutes and three federated colleges. It offers a first-of-its-kind UR Guarantee Program, which provides students a guarantee that if they do not secure career-related employment within six months of graduation, they are eligible to return for another year of undergraduate classes free of charge.

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon

Tuition: $8,038

Undergraduate students: 20,100

Undergraduate graduation rate: 60.5 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $18,582

In the heart of Saskatoon, on Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis, the University of Saskatchewan focuses strongly on collaborative, interdisciplinary research aimed at solving global issues, such as infectious disease, and food and water security. Many of the university’s colleges are currently moving toward indigenizing their programs and engaging students in opportunities for reconciliation.

Manitoba profiles

Brandon University

Brandon (main), Winnipeg

Tuition: $4,450

Undergraduate students: 3,281

Undergraduate graduation rate: 38 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $11,445

As a smaller school in the second-largest city in the province, Brandon University’s downtown campus building, campus events and programs are meant to encourage community connections. Much of BU’s research tackles issues with a local lens, such as continuing rural research on the mental health of target populations in rural areas.

University of Manitoba

Winnipeg

Tuition: $4,258.96 (**Note: first-year students pay $7,800 for the University 1 program)

Undergraduate students: 25,135

Undergraduate graduation rate: 86.6 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $11,768

Founded more than 140 years ago, University of Manitoba is one of the oldest and largest research-intensive universities in the province. It offers more than 100 programs, with more than 100 service-learning, internship, co-op and exchange opportunities in more than 35 countries. This year, the university launched a new Community Leadership Development Program to build capacity for students to create positive change in their communities.

University of Winnipeg

Winnipeg

Tuition: $5,056.32

Undergraduate students: 9,137

Undergraduate graduation rate: 44 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $8,919

With a campus that serves as a downtown hub connecting people from diverse cultures, UWinnipeg is renowned for its interdisciplinary collaboration and partnership with community organizations and industries. UWinnipeg was one of the first universities in Canada to introduce an Indigenous Course Requirement (ICR), ensuring all undergraduates have a baseline knowledge of Indigenous peoples, cultures and perspectives.

Ontario profiles

Algoma University

Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton, Timmins

Tuition and fees: $7,332.04

Undergraduate students: 1,372

Undergraduate graduation rate: 52 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $16,197

With its main campus situated on the site of a former residential school, Algoma University has a special mission to cultivate cross-cultural learning between Indigenous and other communities, which is based on Anishinaabe values. The small university offers more than 20 programs, but since it doesn’t have any graduate degrees, undergraduate students are able to jump in on faculty research projects.

Brock University

St. Catharines (main), Hamilton

Tuition and fees: $6,675.75

Undergraduate students: 16,566

Undergraduate graduation rate: 69.1 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,926

Located in the historic Niagara region, Brock is a mid-sized university with more than 19,000 students in seven faculties. In addition to the degree programs, BrockU provides more than 40 co-op programs, in which 15 per cent of full-time students participate, as well as other opportunities to engage with the community beyond academics. Outside of class, students can cheer on the Brock Badgers and get involved in a variety of clubs and extracurricular activities.

Carleton University

Ottawa

Tuition and fees: $7,427.65

Undergraduate students: 27,152

Undergraduate graduation rate: 69 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $17,130

Carleton University is located on Algonquin territory, on an official UNESCO World Heritage Site in Canada’s capital city. Carleton offers more than 200 undergraduate programs, with access to the unique resources provided by its proximity to government institutions, libraries and media. As a research-focused university, Carleton works closely with its community partners to identify emerging areas of importance.

Lakehead University

Thunder Bay, Orillia

Tuition and fees: $7,569.68

Undergraduate students: 7,164

Undergraduate graduation rate: 77.8 per cent (year rate unknown)

Average debt at graduation: $18,084

Founded in 1965, Lakehead University offers a range of degree and diploma programs across 10 faculties. Lakehead promises a wholesome university experience, with a blend of academics and rich social and recreational activities. This past year, a student-led community project, Enactus Lakehead, created two programs to address the unique financial needs of communities in Northwestern Ontario.

Laurentian University

Sudbury

Tuition and fees: $7,684.85

Undergraduate students: 8,100

Undergraduate graduation rate: 71.2 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $16,998

Laurentian University is a bilingual university offering more than 120 undergraduate programs across five faculties, with many programs and degrees offered in French. Class sizes are kept small and numerous programs offer hands-on experience, field work and co-op placements. Laurentian has one of the highest postgrad employment rates in the province, as 94 per cent of undergraduate students find employment within six months of graduation.

McMaster University

Hamilton, Burlington, Kitchener, St. Catharines

Tuition and fees: $7,988.81

Undergraduate students: 26,504

Undergraduate graduation rate: 79.2 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $17,705

Based in Hamilton, the fourth-largest city in Ontario, McMaster University is a research-intensive university that’s home to more than 70 research centres and institutes. Although the school has a focus on its medical-doctoral program, McMaster offers more than 25 degree programs across six faculties. Aside from academics, McMaster has more than 250 cultural, academic and social issues clubs on campus and more than 30 varsity athletics and intramural options.

Nipissing University

North Bay (main), Brantford

Tuition and fees: $7,791.94

Undergraduate students: 4,487

Undergraduate graduation rate: 86.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $19,289

Nipissing University is a primarily undergraduate university offering arts and science, education, professional and a few graduate-level programs. It’s one of the smaller universities in the province, which allows for interactive classes and a personalized, student-focused approach, with online and blended learning options available.

OCAD University

Toronto

Tuition and fees: $7,703.40

Undergraduate students: 4,200

Undergraduate graduation rate: 64.6 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $16,341

Originally established as the Ontario School of Art in 1876, OCAD University is one of the oldest and largest educational institutions for art and design in Canada. It currently offers 17 undergraduate programs in three faculties, ranging from advertising and graphic design to drawing and painting, and environmental design to Indigenous visual culture. It’s also home to 18 research labs and nine galleries.

Ontario Tech University

Oshawa

Tuition and fees: $8,283.16

Undergraduate students: 9,536

Undergraduate graduation rate: 71.4 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $17,423

Recently rebranded from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, one of Ontario Tech University’s primary focuses is the application of technology for greater societal good – “tech with a conscience.” It offers 60 undergraduate programs in seven faculties, co-op and internship options, as well as opportunities for undergraduate students to work on research projects with faculty.

Queen’s University

Kingston

Tuition and fees: $7,943.44

Undergraduate students: 20,185

Undergraduate graduation rate: 86.4 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $19,220

Established in 1841 by the Royal Charter of Queen Victoria, Queen’s University is one of Canada’s oldest universities. The mid-sized institution, located in Kingston, is a full-spectrum, research-intensive university offering 125 degree programs across eight faculties. The campus is home to a network of six libraries, as well as various museums and arts facilities. With many opportunities to get involved in student government, more than 300 clubs, 13 varsity teams and 20 recreation clubs, Queen’s has a high student satisfaction rate.

Ryerson University

Toronto

Tuition and fees: $7,076.14

Undergraduate students: 36,748

Undergraduate graduation rate: 72.2 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $16,019

With more than 125 research institutes and labs, Ryerson commits to being a city builder by researching the core challenges facing urban centres. Students can choose from 62 bachelor programs and get involved in any of the 70-plus student groups. Ryerson students can also apply traditional academic knowledge from their coursework into a new experiential Zone Learning model, where they can develop their own startups, causes, companies or ventures in one of 10 zones.

Trent University

Peterborough, Oshawa

Tuition and fees: $8,458.51

Undergraduate students: 9,622

Undergraduate graduation rate: 63.1 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $17,391

Nestled in Peterborough, with access to 30 kilometres of hiking trails and just a 90-minute commute from downtown Toronto, Trent University is one of the province’s smaller universities. It has a student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1 and more than 100 programs across the arts, sciences, social sciences and professional studies. There are 12 varsity teams, three varsity clubs and more than 130 student clubs and groups from which to choose.

University of Guelph

Guelph (main), Toronto and Ridgetown

Tuition and fees: $8,399

Undergraduate students: 26,741

Undergraduate graduation rate: 79.6 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,810

With campuses that span urban hubs and rural settings, the University of Guelph is a research-intensive university offering more than 85 undergraduate majors. More than a thousand experiential learning opportunities are available, with more than 3,500 students involved in co-op education. Students looking to get involved in campus life have the choice of more than 200 clubs and 19 intramural sports options.

University of Ottawa

Ottawa

Tuition and fees: $7,310.84

Undergraduate students: 35,515

Undergraduate graduation rate: 68 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $17,230

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, the University of Ottawa is the largest English-French bilingual university in the world, offering more than 450 programs in 10 faculties. UOttawa supports more than 22 centres and institutes that lead research on a range of areas, such as equity, diversity, cybersecurity, governance, health, aging, immigration and artificial intelligence. The school also has the second-largest co-op program in the province.

University of Toronto

Toronto (main), Mississauga, Scarborough

Tuition and fees: $8,252.83

Undergraduate students: 71,930

Undergraduate graduation rate: 75.6 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $17,513

Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto is Canada’s largest university. It offers more than 980 programs at the undergraduate, graduate and PhD levels across three campuses, and it ranks as the top university in Canada (13th in the world) for postgraduate employability. U of T is renowned for its prowess in research and it is home to 44 libraries, with the third-largest library system in North America.

University of Waterloo

Waterloo (main), Cambridge, Kitchener, Stratford

Tuition and fees: $7,779.10

Undergraduate students: 34,002

Undergraduate graduation rate: 81.1 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $16,127

The University of Waterloo combines innovative experiential learning, impact-driven research and traditional academics, with program offerings across six faculties. The university opened its doors in 1957, with engineering and co-operative education as its cornerstones. Today, it’s home to the world’s largest co-op program of its kind.

University of Western Ontario

London

Tuition and fees: $7,704.05

Undergraduate students: 23,579

Undergraduate graduation rate: 81.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $19,485

Located in London with a campus varying from historic gothic style to modern buildings, Western offers more than 90 undergraduate programs across its 12 faculties. These range from arts, humanities and social science to education, engineering and health sciences, at the undergraduate, graduate and PhD levels. Western has a keen focus on research, with some of its current work focused on neuroscience, domestic violence and wind engineering research.

University of Windsor

Windsor

Tuition and fees: $7,488.02

Undergraduate students: 12,283

Undergraduate graduation rate: 75.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $18,772

The University of Windsor enrolls students in 190 undergraduate programs, 65 graduate programs and six professional programs. The student-to-faculty ratio at UWindsor is 26 to 1. Last year, University of Windsor students invested 1.25 million total hours of service to the communities of Windsor and Essex County through structured experiential education programs.

Wilfrid Laurier University

Waterloo (main), Brantford, Kitchener, Milton, Toronto

Tuition and fees: $7,983.32

Undergraduate students: 17,970

Undergraduate graduation rate: 76.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate (average across all programs)

Average debt at graduation: $16,845

With nine faculties, more than 20 research centres and institutes and a 25-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, Wilfrid Laurier’s programs connect hands-on learning with co-curricular experiences. Co-op work terms, community service learning and volunteer activities are embedded in many programs. Outside of class, students have 250 clubs and groups from which to choose, as well as 3,000 volunteer opportunities through the students’ union.

York University

Toronto (main), Glendon Campus (French)

Tuition and fees: $7,743

Undergraduate students: 49,659

Undergraduate graduation rate: 69.4 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,104

With 25 interdisciplinary and collaborative research centres, York University describes itself as “Canada’s third largest interdisciplinary research and teaching institution.” The school offers more than 5,000 courses across 10 faculties and has more than 200 partnerships with international universities. York U plans to have an experiential education component be a part of each program it offers. It currently has more than 8,000 experiential opportunities.

Quebec and French-speaking profiles

Quebec

Bishop’s University

Sherbrooke

Tuition and fees: $9,470.16 (out of province), $4,073.97(Quebec residents)

Undergraduate students: 2,559

Undergraduate graduation rate: 76 per cent

Average debt at graduation: $17,651

Located in the bilingual community of Lennoxville, a suburb of Sherbrooke, Bishop’s University is a predominantly undergraduate institution. The school offers a selection of more than 100 programs across the faculties of arts and sciences, business and education. Bishop’s small and residential quality encourages immersive tight-knit experiences, with more than 84 per cent of students active in clubs, or varsity or intramural sports.

Concordia University

Montreal

Tuition and fees: $9,068.70 (out of province), $3,892.50 (Quebec residents)

Undergraduate students: 37,162

Undergraduate graduation rate: 72.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $18,197

Founded in 1974, when Loyola College and Sir George Williams University merged, Concordia University currently serves as Quebec’s largest English-language university. With more than 37,000 undergraduate students, 8,400 of whom come to study from 150 countries, Concordia offers a range of undergraduate- and graduate-level programs in the arts and sciences, business, engineering and computer science and the fine arts.

McGill University

Montreal, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue

Tuition and fees: $9,509.30 (out of province), $4,333.10 (Quebec residents)

Undergraduate students: 24,106

Undergraduate graduation rate: 79.9 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $19,702

Founded in 1821, McGill is a research-intensive university ranked in the world’s top 50 universities, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The English-language school offers more than 300 programs between its two campuses and across its 11 faculties and 11 schools, ranging from law and religious studies to dentistry and music.

French-speaking

Laval University

Quebec City

Tuition and fees: $8,275 (out of province), $3,100 (Quebec residents)

Undergraduate students: 31,523

Undergraduate graduation rate: 83.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $22,092

Tracing its roots back to 1852, Laval University was the first French-language university in North America. The school offers a comprehensive range of studies across 500 programs in more than 60 departments, schools and institutes. It has 17 faculties. Laval offers more than 90 programs and 940 courses online, and it has more than 900 partnerships with other postsecondary institutions in 73 countries.

University of Montreal

Montreal (main), Laval, Saint-Hyacinthe, Mauricie, Longueuil, Lanaudière

Tuition and fees: $8,582.06 (out of province), $3,405.86 (Quebec residents)

Undergraduate students: 47,733

Undergraduate graduation rate: 79.8 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $22,018

Offering more than 600 programs, University of Montreal is a research-intensive university offering degrees from 13 different faculties. The school also partners with Polytechnique Montréal to offer engineering and computer science programs, and it partners with HEC Montréal to offer business programs. Its new interdisciplinary centre, L’Extension, has provided dental medicine, optometry and orthopedagogy students the chance to give inner-city Montreal children better care.

University of Quebec Network

Quebec

Created in 1968 by the Government of Quebec, the University of Quebec is the largest university network in Canada. The network encompasses 10 institutions across the province, collectively offering more than 1,000 programs and close to 500 research groups and laboratories.

University of Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke (main), Longueuil

Tuition and fees: $8,049 (out of province), $3,037 (Quebec residents)

Undergraduate students: 17,009

Undergraduate graduation rate: 81.5 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $21,163

The University of Sherbrooke is a French-speaking university that offers 393 programs across eight faculties on its three campuses. More than 31,000 students attend the university, with around 82 per cent coming from outside of Sherbrooke. The school is proud of its designation as a green university. In 2018, it adopted an ambitious sustainability plan listing 326 concrete actions, including a move to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

French-speaking (Manitoba)

University of Saint-Boniface

Winnipeg

Tuition and fees: $4,600

Undergraduate students: 930

Undergraduate graduation rate: **information unavailable

Average debt at graduation: **information unavailable

Tracing its origins back to 1818 and currently located in a francophone neighbourhood in the heart of Winnipeg, University of Saint-Boniface (USB) is the only French-language university in Manitoba. USB offers academic programs, while its two colleges offer technical and vocational studies.

French-speaking (New Brunswick)

University of Moncton

Moncton (main), Edmundston, Shippagan

Tuition and fees: $6,480

Undergraduate students: 3,956

Undergraduate graduation rate: **information unavailable

Average debt at graduation: **information unavailable

The University of Moncton is the largest French-language university in Canada outside Quebec. The school offers 165 programs across its three campuses in a variety of fields, including the arts, education sciences, engineering, forestry, law and social work. It has a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and a variety of co-op experiences to pair with students’ studies.

French-speaking (Nova Scotia)

Sainte-Anne University

Pointe-de-l’Église (main), Halifax, Tusket, Petit-de-Grat, Saint-Joseph-du-Moine

Tuition and fees: $8,086.14

Undergraduate students: 392

Undergraduate graduation rate: **information unavailable

Average debt at graduation: **information unavailable

As the only French-language postsecondary institution in Nova Scotia, Sainte-Anne University offers both university- and college-level programs. Students who speak little to no French have the opportunity to take part in the Integrated French Immersion Option, where they can learn French while completing their program without delaying their graduation date.

Maritimes profiles

New Brunswick

Mount Allison University

Sackville

Tuition and fees: $9,872.50 (out of province), $9,187.50 (New Brunswick residents)

Undergraduate students: 2,078

Undergraduate graduation rate: 68 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,742

Mount Allison University is a small, primarily undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. It offers more than 40 different programs that can be customized to create a unique degree. There are five degree options in arts, science, commerce, fine arts and music, with average first- and second-year class sizes of 41 students, dropping to 14 in the upper years. The school has more than 150 student-run organizations, nine varsity teams and 10 athletic intramural sports teams.

St. Thomas University

Fredericton

Tuition and fees: $7,419

Undergraduate students: 2,011

Undergraduate graduation rate: 54 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,513

St. Thomas University is a small, primarily undergraduate liberal arts university. The bachelor of arts program is at the heart of the university’s community, offering more than 30 programs in humanities and social sciences and two postdegree programs in education and social work. This year, the school’s internship program facilitated 40 paid internships, and students can also work toward a certificate in experiential learning and community engagements alongside their degree.

University of New Brunswick

Fredericton, Saint John

Tuition and fees: $7,385

Undergraduate students: 8,005

Undergraduate graduation rate: 62 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $15,997

Conducting more than 70 per cent of the publicly funded research in New Brunswick, the University of New Brunswick is a research-intensive school offering more than 75 undergraduate programs. Programs range from marine biology and radiation therapy in the sciences to creative writing [JF2] in the arts. Outside of class, students have the choice of more than 120 clubs and societies.

Nova Scotia

Acadia University

Wolfville

Tuition and fees: $9,792.40 (out of province), $8,509.40 (Nova Scotia residents)

Undergraduate students: 3,975

Undergraduate graduation rate: 65.4 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $20,402

Founded in 1838, Acadia University offers a liberal arts curriculum and encourages personal development and collaborative learning experiences. Acadia’s four faculties – arts, pure and applied sciences, professional studies and theology – provide more than 200 degree combinations at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can also take part in 11 varsity teams, 15 athletic clubs and more than 70 student-run organizations.

Cape Breton University

Sydney

Tuition and fees: $8,760 (out of province), $7,480 (Nova Scotia residents)

Undergraduate students: 4,524

Undergraduate graduation rate: 59.3 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $19,266

Promising small class sizes, a commitment to leadership in Indigenous education and exciting research opportunities, Cape Breton University offers a range of undergraduate degrees from arts and science to hospitality and tourism management. It currently offers a unique interdisciplinary bachelor of arts and science in environment (BASE), built for solutions-focused students interested in sustainability and the environment.

Dalhousie University

Halifax (main), Truro

Tuition and fees: $9,040.06 (out of province), $7,757.06 (Nova Scotia residents)

Undergraduate students: 14,701

Undergraduate graduation rate: 66.7 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $22,775

Founded in 1818, Dalhousie University is one of the oldest and largest universities in the region. Dal offers more than 200 programs and 4,000 courses across its 13 faculties. The majority of students are from out of province, with nearly 90 per cent of all students involved in work-integrated learning. Students can choose to join any of the 400-plus student clubs and societies, and participate in an array of transformative research initiatives while at the school.

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax

Tuition and fees: $7,854.60 (out of province), $6,571.6 (Nova Scotia residents)

Undergraduate students: 3,157

Undergraduate graduation rate: 61 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $21,476

With small class sizes and a personalized approach to learning, Mount Saint Vincent University is a small university providing space to build a tight-knit community. It offers a variety of bachelor of arts, science, education and professional studies degree programs in both on-campus classes and distance-learning formats. The Mount is home to the longest-standing and second-largest accredited co-op program in Atlantic Canada.

NSCAD University

Halifax

Tuition and fees: $9,889.94 (out of province), $8,606.90 (Nova Scotia residents)

Undergraduate students: 892

Undergraduate graduation rate: 82 per cent, based on a six-year rate

Average debt at graduation: **information unavailable

Dating back to the mid-1960s, NSCAD is a university focused on progressive art-making. The small school, with three campuses in Halifax, says it’s a home for “risk takers, rule breakers, [and] explorers.” After completing a Foundation Year, undergraduate students can take courses within five areas of instruction ranging from art history, jewellery and metalsmithing to film, intermedia and photography.

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish

Tuition and fees: $10,248.95 (out of province), $8,965.95 (Nova Scotia residents)

Undergraduate students: 4,875

Undergraduate graduation rate: 74.75 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $21,647

St. Francis Xavier University is home to one of the oldest formal service-learning programs, valuing community development, social justice and global awareness. The university offers arts, business, education and science programs in small classes, paired with co-op options. Students can find hands-on research opportunities and almost 100 clubs and societies from which to choose.

Saint Mary’s University

Halifax

Tuition and fees: $8,566 (out of province), $7,283 (Nova Scotia residents)

Undergraduate students: 6,192

Undergraduate graduation rate: 59 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $19,285

With students from as many as 118 different countries and partnerships with 40 institutions in 25 countries, Saint Mary’s University prides itself on being a leader in international and intercultural education. The urban, mid-sized university offers an array of programs in arts, science, education, business and graduate studies, with an average class size of 40 students for introductory courses.

University of King’s College

Halifax

Tuition and fees: $9,866 (out of province), $8,583 (Nova Scotia residents)

Undergraduate students: 849

Undergraduate graduation rate: 69.4 per cent

Average debt at graduation: $19,904

The University of King’s College is a small and immersive liberal arts school offering a more interdisciplinary approach to undergraduate studies. UKings gives students opportunities to combine and customize degrees and is known for its Foundation Year Program, journalism program and multiple other degree options in arts and humanities, science and music offered jointly with its sister school, Dalhousie University.

Prince Edward Island

University of Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown

Tuition and fees: $7,333

Undergraduate students: 4,208

Undergraduate graduation rate: 68.1 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $21,270

Formed in 1969 in PEI’s capital city, the University of Prince Edward Island offers a wide range of programs in arts, business, mathematical and computational studies, nursing, science, sustainable design engineering and veterinary medicine. In July, it was announced that UPEI will become home to the Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation, which will focus on ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Memorial University of Newfoundland

St. John’s, Corner Brook

Tuition and fees: $4,169 (out of province), $3,389 (Newfoundland residents)

Undergraduate students: 13,572

Undergraduate graduation rate: 60.6 per cent, based on a seven-year rate

Average debt at graduation: $14,723

As Newfoundland and Labrador’s only university, Memorial University serves more than 18,000 students from more than 100 countries. The school offers more than 100 degree programs, with more than 450 of those available online. More than 40 per cent of Memorial’s research is ocean-related, and the university is home to an organic pollution control lab, pioneering research on persistent and toxic organic pollutants.

Faith-based profiles

Ambrose University

Calgary

Tuition and fees: $12,963

Undergraduate students: 920

As a Christian university, Ambrose offers accredited degree programs in the faculty of arts and sciences, including English literature, history, business administration and biology. The university has one of the largest private academic libraries in Western Canada and the campus community includes more than 50 denominations.

Burman University

Lacombe, Alta.

Tuition and fees: $14,712

Undergraduate students: 473

Offering more than 35 undergraduate program choices in the arts, science, business, and education, Burman University is a small school that similarly boasts small classes and an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty member ratio. Students at Burman have the choice of more than 30 clubs on campus or eight athletics teams.

Canadian Mennonite University

Winnipeg

Tuition: $6,048

Undergraduate students: 932

Founded in 2000, in Manitoba’s capital, Canadian Mennonite University offers its students 19 undergraduate program options ranging from international development studies and mathematics to biblical and theological studies. All undergraduate students at CMU are required to have taken a practicum component to graduate from their program.

Crandall University

Moncton

Tuition and fees: $9,880

Undergraduate students: 580

Situated in Moncton, Crandall University is a small, independent liberal arts university rooted in the Christian faith and is home to about 800 students. This year, Crandall launched an experiential gap-year certificate program, ClayStone, which gives students the chance to take a full year of university credits alongside outdoor pursuits, cross-cultural experiences and humanitarian work.

Providence University College and Theological Seminary

Otterburne, Man.

Tuition and fees: $9,750

Undergraduate students: 508

Providence University College offers a range of accredited degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including business, communications and media, counselling and counselling psychology and theological studies, in a Christ-centred community. It has smaller class sizes and provides a range of recreational activities, student leadership opportunities and performing arts.

Redeemer University College

Ancaster, Ont.

Tuition and fees: $17,388 (**Note: the 2019–20 year tuition and fees change to $10,421)

Undergraduate students: 705

Redeemer University College is an undergraduate Christian liberal arts university located in Ancaster. It offers 39 different degree programs in either arts, science, or education, with 47 denominations represented in the student body and around 689 students from other provinces, the United States, or 17 countries. The average class size is 20.

St. Mary’s University

Calgary

Tuition and fees: $8,085

Undergraduate students: 1,000

Founded on a Catholic intellectual tradition, St. Mary’s University provides eight bachelor degrees in the liberal arts, sciences and education within small classes averaging 22 students. Students at StMU are encouraged to combine academics with a commitment to ethics, social justice and respect for diversity in opinion and belief.

The King’s University

Edmonton

Tuition and fees: $13,562

Undergraduate students: 837

The King’s University offers more than 600 courses in 24 programs each year ranging from arts, business, education, science, and music. Class sizes are small, averaging 22 students. Undergraduate students can take part in research training with the support of faculty, and have the opportunity to co-publish laboratory, field, or literary research studies.

Trinity Western University

Langley, B.C., Richmond, B.C., Ottawa, Bellingham, Wash.

Tuition and fees: $22,631

Undergraduate students: 2,980

Trinity Western University is Canada’s largest liberal arts institution offering both undergraduate and graduate programs at its four locations, all focused on a Christ-centred approach to education. Undergraduate students can choose from more than 42 undergraduate programs, and students can take part in student leadership programs, sports or student ministries outside of class.

Tyndale University College and Seminary

Toronto

Tuition and fees: $15,930

Undergraduate students: 596

Founded in 1894 in Toronto, Tyndale University College offers a variety of undergraduate academic programs in the liberal arts, as well as a bachelor of education and religious education. Tyndale serves students from more than 60 ethnic backgrounds and 40 faith denominations. The university’s seminary is the largest one in Canada.

Private universities profiles

Concordia University of Edmonton

Edmonton

Tuition and fees: $8,736.36

Undergraduate students: **information unavailable

Concordia University of Edmonton says it’s a “small campus [with] lots to offer.” Undergraduate students can choose from more than 45 majors and minors in the arts, sciences or management, or they can opt to take one of the two after-degree programs in education or public health.

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Vancouver

Tuition and fees: $26,286

Undergraduate students: 831

Fairleigh Dickinson University is the largest private university in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It has two campuses in the United States, and one of its two non-U.S. locations includes a campus in Vancouver. That campus offers students the chance to earn a U.S. college degree with a choice of either a bachelor of science in business administration or in information technology or a bachelor of arts. Learning is mostly in-person, within classroom-based lectures.

Quest University

Squamish, B.C.

Tuition and fees: $49,230

Undergraduate students: 600

Quest University is Canada’s first independent, not-for-profit, secular liberal arts and sciences university exclusively offering undergraduate-level learning. The school, founded in 2007, provides a unique structure of learning, where students work toward one degree, the interdisciplinary bachelor of arts and sciences. Instead of semesters, students learn on a Block Plan, where they are immersed in a single course for 3.5 weeks, in interactive classes with no more than 20 students.

St. Stephen’s University

St. Stephen, N.B.

Tuition and fees: $11,900

Undergraduate students: 42

Located in St. Stephen, St. Stephen’s University is intentionally small, admitting a maximum of 30 students each year, which makes it Canada’s smallest university. Its campus has no lecture theatres, since learning takes place around a table with professors who know their students well. The intimate educational experience gives students a chance to actively contribute to the daily running of the university, sharing cooking and cleaning duties alongside academic duties.

University Canada West

Vancouver

Tuition and fees: $8,652

Undergraduate students: 195

University Canada West is a business-focused university in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The majority of the student base is graduate students (1,310 students in the past year), while a smaller number of undergraduate students take its bachelor of commerce degree program. The university has four terms a year, giving students the chance to accelerate their studies to finish sooner.

Yorkville University

Fredericton, N.B., Concord, Ont., Vancouver

Tuition and fees: $17,325

Undergraduate students: **information unavailable

Established in 2003, Yorkville University is a private, non-denominational institution offering practitioner-oriented master’s, bachelor’s and diploma programs that lead to professional careers. Programs are offered both online and on-campus across its three campuses, and the only undergraduate programs available are a bachelor in business administration and a bachelor of interior design, available at the Ontario campus.

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